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  • Quote Originally Posted by Tubefox
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    1. Keyboards and Synthesizers are expensive. This means that playing keyboard has a far greater barrier to entry than, say, guitar.




    Not really true. A decent entry-level keyboard can be had for a couple of hundred bucks. And a semi-pro guitar and keyboard rig are probably about equal in cost when you consider the cost of good guitar amps and effects gear.








    2. They're not very "cool." I realize I might be about to go down in flames, so let me start by saying they definitely sound awesome. However, there's not a lot of opportunity to jump around and rock out while playing one.




    There IS that...
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    • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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      Not really true. A decent entry-level keyboard can be had for a couple of hundred bucks. And a semi-pro guitar and keyboard rig are probably about equal in cost when you consider the cost of good guitar amps and effects gear.







      There IS that...






      Hmmm not sure about the semi pro keyboard gear being quite as cheap as you say. My RD300sx is nothing fancy, but between it and the mackie srm450 I am pretty sure I could put together a pretty gig worthy guitar rig for quite a bit less. You have alot more options on hot rodding cheap guitars like a mex strat, than you dont have with keyboards. I guess it depends on what you really want to do with a keyboard. If you are a traditional player ,, your main board is going to be a stage piano not a synth. Start running two tier rigs and things add up pretty fast.

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      • Quote Originally Posted by rhat
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        Hmmm not sure about the semi pro keyboard gear being quite as cheap as you say. My RD300sx is nothing fancy, but between it and the mackie srm450 I am pretty sure I could put together a pretty gig worthy guitar rig for quite a bit less. You have alot more options on hot rodding cheap guitars like a mex strat, than you dont have with keyboards. I guess it depends on what you really want to do with a keyboard. If you are a traditional player ,, your main board is going to be a stage piano not a synth. Start running two tier rigs and things add up pretty fast.




        Sure. There are all sort of options with any sort of gear. But for somebody just starting out, you can get a decent used gigging keyboard and something to play it through for <$500. A decent guitar and amp will cost about the same thing.
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        • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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          Sure. There are all sort of options with any sort of gear. But for somebody just starting out, you can get a decent used gigging keyboard and something to play it through for <$500. A decent guitar and amp will cost about the same thing.






          I guess it all depends on what you call decent. I have been looking for a second RD300sx used and I aint finding one that would come in anywhere close to 500 bucks and we havent even talked monitor yet. A 500 dollar rig is gonna be pretty much a toy from my point of view. The used RDs are running a grand and you will pay 300 for a used eon. I guess it all depends on what you expect a keyboard to play like. Action to me means everything.. so I might not be lookin at this from alot of guys point of view.



          I am by no means what you call a gear head ,, but the things gotta play well and not be toylike. I dont need alot of bells and whistles. Typically you dont just start out as a rock and roll keyboard player. You tend to come from a piano/ organ background and transition into bands. I dont see cheap keyboard being anything that would satisfy a guy who started out on a real piano or organ. For a non player type who just wants to make cool sounds ,, a cheap snyth might work,, for a player , not much of a chance for that.

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          • Quote Originally Posted by rhat
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            I guess it all depends on what you call decent. I have been looking for a second RD300sx used and I aint finding one that would come in anywhere close to 500 bucks and we havent even talked monitor yet. A 500 dollar rig is gonna be pretty much a toy from my point of view. The used RDs are running a grand and you will pay 300 for a used eon. I guess it all depends on what you expect a keyboard to play like. Action to me means everything.. so I might not be lookin at this from alot of guys point of view.



            I am by no means what you call a gear head ,, but the things gotta play well and not be toylike. I dont need alot of bells and whistles.




            I'm thinking more in terms of a young kid starting out. (I took the topic to be why do kids take up guitar instead of keyboards...I don't think cost should be one of the barriers to becoming a keyboard player.) I would recommend getting something like a used Roland XP-30 which you can pick up for $300 or less used and get decent action and all the standard patches. A Behringer powered speaker will run you about the same, or a keyboard player can just play through the PA to start out.



            The Yamaha MM6 boards have all the sounds in the Motif boards and you can get one of those for $599 new.
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            • Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBlues
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              It boils down to your expectations of the keyboard chair . . and everyone's expectations of all the other chairs in the band by extension. I prefer the tone of a Precision over a Jazz bass, but it's not a deal breaker. I like electric hollow bodies, but rarely get to play in a band with one. The voice of your instrument isn't nearly as important as the notes your playing and when you play them . . and by when, I mean your sense of time. Wades_keys refers to a bass player's tone envelope, but the concept applies to everyone instrument. That's what makes a band sound good, not the tone settings.



              The keyboard voices I use most of the time are various custom EP patches that sound good (to me). They don't sound like the Wurly, Rhoads, RMI, or whatever, that I used to own. It's not a nostalgia thing.



              The Korg SV-1 piano setting gives you the sound of the damper felts brushing against the strings on release !?!? Please . . . . . . .








              just playing piano chops through Lady GaGa, The Killers, or Owl City songs or using just piano through synth heavy 80s tunes really isnt cutting covering how the song goes, now is it? You are just making my point... I dont have a problem putting out the effort to dial in the right sounds and playing simple: it seems that a lot of piano-oriented keyboard players either (A) dont put out the effort to try and program tones close to the recording and/or (B) just want to rely on their 14-fingers-of-doom piano chops to get through any song (maybe hitting some brass stabs here or there). Being a monster piano player only makes that person just that: a monster piano player - that doesnt necessarily mean they are a competent (variety) keyboard player.



              For the record, Im not a set-it-and-forget-it-bass player. I play a G&L ASAT as my primary bass. It can emulate a Jazz, a Precision, and can get StingRayish for slap bass. It also can do a great "faux fretless" and "faux upright".
              "Many (bands)have retooled with that marketing concept in mind without understanding that the party experience is supposed to be for the audience and NOT themselves" - wheresgrant3

              Still HCBF's reigning "Sexiest Forumite"....Dont hate me because Im beautiful

              DRF On MySpace

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              • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                I'm thinking more in terms of a young kid starting out. (I took the topic to be why do kids take up guitar instead of keyboards...I don't think cost should be one of the barriers to becoming a keyboard player.) I would recommend getting something like a used Roland XP-30 which you can pick up for $300 or less used and get decent action and all the standard patches. A Behringer powered speaker will run you about the same, or a keyboard player can just play through the PA to start out.



                The Yamaha MM6 boards have all the sounds in the Motif boards and you can get one of those for $599 new.






                You just keep lowering the bar. First we went to used gear ,, then we went to rank beginners. I took the topic of you cant find a keyboard player for your band. I sold a couple old keyboards when i was cleaning out my house for the move ,,, One could learn to play on them,, but one was really a toy and the other was really old but did have a pretty nice 61 keybed with good action but the patches were really weak. They brought like 20 bucks. So ya you can find somthing with keys pretty cheap ,, but I doubt that you would dig with one. To its defense the old lowery did have a nice keybed , the yamahaw was a total toy. I ended up with them from a relative that passed away.

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                • Quote Originally Posted by DevilRaysFan
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                  . For me, I like finding those exact sounds, regardless of how simple they are to play so when we do songs like "Lets Go" by The Cars or "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden, I enjoy getting the sound pallette and playing simple as much as I enjoy playing all the piano chops in the country songs




                  I'm in the same mold as you. Sounds and pallette are as much a challenge and skill as playing parts. I think modern guitarists need to bring the same skill-set to a band as well. Being a good player with one great "tone" doesn't really cut it. I want to play with guitarists who can bring and work with a pallette of sounds and textures. For a modern keyboardist, such skills are essential and I take a lot of pride in my ability to program sounds, work with sounds and textures, and find the right parts to make things work.



                  One of the biggests challenges for keyboard players in rock bands is that between guitarists with "fat" sounds, bass players, and multi-vocalists, there aren't really a whole lot of frequency "slots" left for keyboardists to work with. So learning to manage sound palettes and textures is essential to being able to find your place in a rock band setting.
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                  • Quote Originally Posted by rhat
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                    You just keep lowering the bar. First we went to used gear ,, then we went to rank beginners. I took the topic of you cant find a keyboard player for your band.




                    The reason it's harder to find keyboard players than guitar players at a semi-pro or pro level is kids don't take up the instruments. I'm just saying cost need-not be a barrier. The XP series of boards are very good. They have all the standard Roland sounds from their JV stuff from the 90s. Those sounds are still industry-standard stuff.



                    I'm not talking about the cheapy Yamaha boards with a set of speakers attached that kids learn to play on.
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                    • Quote Originally Posted by DevilRaysFan
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                      Being a monster piano player only makes that person just that: a monster piano player - that doesnt necessarily mean they are a competent (variety) keyboard player.




                      "Competent" and "variety" are not synonymous, although I will concede that working to develop a particular well defined style does make you less marketable to contemporary rock cover bands.

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                      • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                        The reason it's harder to find keyboard players than guitar players at a semi-pro or pro level is kids don't take up the instruments. I'm just saying cost need-not be a barrier. The XP series of boards are very good. They have all the standard Roland sounds from their JV stuff from the 90s. Those sounds are still industry-standard stuff.



                        I'm not talking about the cheapy Yamaha boards with a set of speakers attached that kids learn to play on.






                        Yup you cant just play barr chords on a keyboard. The path that most of my generation of keyboard players came up through is piano and organ lessons ,, they they dropped out to play rock and roll. I have no real interest in programming or just laying in sounds. I like playing and laying down foundation in the rhythm section and an occasional solo. I guess i am old school. I think I would be bored to tears with the way keyboard are used in alot of modern rock. Now modern country is more old school. I guess its ideal to be able to do both ,, but i would guess those guys are from a limited demograhpic where they took the piano and organ lessons then started their rock band deal after the gear was invented to so the sound thing.



                        When I went rock and roll.. you had combo organs , rhodes, and whurleys and the B3. Pretty well everyone was a player since there was no programming because those old beasts didnt even have a trasnpose switch and had only one voice.

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                        • Because chicks dig guitarists... so the keyboard players switched instruments.

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                          • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                            One of the biggests challenges for keyboard players in rock bands is that between guitarists with "fat" sounds, bass players, and multi-vocalists, there aren't really a whole lot of frequency "slots" left for keyboardists to work with. So learning to manage sound palettes and textures is essential to being able to find your place in a rock band setting.




                            As a keyboard player - I agree with this comment wholeheartedly. Finding the right sounds - i.e, sounds that fit the tune and fit the band's tone and has the ability to cut it in a live performance can be a tough juggling act. A patch that sounds "just like the record" isn't necessarily a winner - especially when it's a highly textured sound. All too often those highly textured sounds simply evaporate in a live environment.



                            Over and above the availability of "frequency slots" is the much bigger issue of whether the band leaves sonic space for a keyboardist period. Reality is that the bands that do it right have players that that know how make space for others.



                            Reality is that at the level that I play at - most musicians seem to equate the ability to play more notes / more complicated rhythm patterns / parts that are "fuller" as a progress in terms of personal development. Put two or three of those guys in the same band and it's nearly a guarantee that you'll end up with a mess in the sonic space that they must share.



                            It takes about half a tune to know whether or not the guitar player has worked with a keyboard player before. That time is cut to a couple of measures if the guitar player is one who usually works in a trio setting. All the techniques that guitar players develop fill space in a trio setting simply KILL a keyboard player.



                            As a keyboard player - I'd rather stay home than spend night in and night out trying to stay out of the way of a guitar player who's seemingly oblivious to the reality that the "all the strings all the time, rhythm and riffs" style he's so proud of has pretty much squeezed me out of the game.
                            The SpaceNorman

                            www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
                            www.souldoutrocks.com

                            Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
                            Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
                            Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

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                            • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                              Not really true. A decent entry-level keyboard can be had for a couple of hundred bucks. And a semi-pro guitar and keyboard rig are probably about equal in cost when you consider the cost of good guitar amps and effects gear.




                              I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this point.



                              Using MAP pricing as a basis - entry level performing gear (i.e., Casio PX330, Korg X50) are right around the $600 price point. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with either of these two instruments - rest assured that when you're talking about a $600 keyboard - you won't be talking about the pallet of truly great sounds you've got. The Casio's piano sounds are certainly very good (especially considering the price) - but if you need other sounds like organs, brass, epianos, and the rest of the typical sound pallet that keyboard players regularly use - you're going to be coming up short in terms of what are typically considered high quality sounds. Start talking about higher end Yamaha stuff (Motifs, CPs, etc.), Roland (RDs, etc), Korg (M50, etc.) or Nord ... and you've easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled your $600 budget. I don't think you can compare that to a guitarist - who can typically find a very functional, decent quality knock off in the $400 price range.



                              Neither can you compare amplification. A guitarist with a $500 budget can walk out with a combo amp equal to those found on stage with lots of working bar acts. A Keyboard player with a $500 budget is looking at one of the smaller Roland "keyboard" amps - which most keyboard players will come to absolutely hate in a very short period of time.



                              When you walk hit your local bar and see a keyboard rig with two "pro" boards with names like Yamaha, Roland, Nord, Korg, Kurzweil, etc. on the back - chances are good that you're looking at a $5,000+ pile of parts. My rig (CP300, RD700SX, Motif ES Rack, stereo amplification (mixer, power amp and 2 monitor wedges), keyboard stand, bench, pedals, cables and cases) has a replacement cost of roughly $7,500.



                              Very few of the guitar players I work with come close to having that tied up in their rig unless they're bringing multiple "name" axes to the gig.
                              The SpaceNorman

                              www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
                              www.souldoutrocks.com

                              Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
                              Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
                              Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

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                              • Quote Originally Posted by SpaceNorman
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                                I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this point.



                                Using MAP pricing as a basis - entry level performing gear (i.e., Casio PX330, Korg X50) are right around the $600 price point. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with either of these two instruments - rest assured that when you're talking about a $600 keyboard - you won't be talking about the pallet of truly great sounds you've got.




                                Well, the Yamaha MM6 is a $600 board, and that's pretty much got all the sounds found on a Motif. And if you look at used gear, there's a ton of Roland XP-series stuff out there to be had for half that. More than sufficient enough to get a beginner going in a gigging band.








                                When you walk hit your local bar and see a keyboard rig with two "pro" boards with names like Yamaha, Roland, Nord, Korg, Kurzweil, etc. on the back - chances are good that you're looking at a $5,000+ pile of parts. My rig (CP300, RD700SX, Motif ES Rack, stereo amplification (mixer, power amp and 2 monitor wedges), keyboard stand, bench, pedals, cables and cases) has a replacement cost of roughly $7,500.



                                Very few of the guitar players I work with come close to having that tied up in their rig unless they're bringing multiple "name" axes to the gig.



                                That's a good point. I probably have the same amount of money tied up in my rig as you do, and you're right that few guitarists are going to bring that much gear to a gig. But from a strictly "young kid getting started" standpoint, it's not that expensive for a beginner to get going with a keyboard rig. If nothing else, the gap between what a good beginner keyboard rig costs and a good beginner guitar rig costs has decreased dramatically in the last couple of decades.



                                I needed what was at least a $3K investment to have a 'decent' rig when I started...and that was in 1981 dollars. I could have better gear now for half that.
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